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Old 04-21-2004, 10:02 AM   #1
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USAID Accomplishments in Iraq

[Q]USAID Accomplishments in Iraq Mar 2003 to Mar 2004

The U.S. government began planning its support for Iraqi humanitarian and reconstruction needs by deploying a multi-agency Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to assess the humanitarian situation and coordinate relief in Iraq. At the same time, members of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) technical staff deployed to Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, and Cyprus to prepare for post-conflict reconstruction. Immediately following the conflict, USAID established offices in four Iraqi cities-Baghdad, Al Hillah, Arbil and Al Basrah.


On May 2, 2003, USAID began directing more than $1.5 billion in assistance, including $2 million in initial food aid. Today, USAID reconstruction and humanitarian assistance is delivered through 45 grants and contracts to U.S. businesses and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), supporting programs in power, water, sanitation, local governance, health, education and nutrition. The USAID Mission in Iraq coordinates all programs with the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA).


Total USAID assistance to Iraq in fiscal years (FYs) 2003 and 2004 is $3.2 billion as of March 17, 2004.

Power Production

A key component of CPA's efforts in Iraq is the rehabilitation and improvement of the power system. Restoring electricity to homes, public facilities and businesses is critical to the re-establishment of all facets of Iraqi society. In April, Iraq's electrical generation capacity was 1,275 MW-29 percent of the pre-conflict level. Power production peaked at 4,066 MW on March 11. Since the conflict, the CPA has worked to more than triple electrical generation to the pre-conflict generating level of 4,400 MW.


A key component of CPA's efforts in Iraq is the rehabilitation and improvement of the power system. Restoring electricity to homes, public facilities, and businesses is critical to the reestablishment of all facets of Iraqi society. Decades of operation without regular maintenance and fuel shortages have severely hampered dependable production. USAID is adding 907 MW of capacity by summer of 2004 through maintenance rehabilitation and new generation projects. Total demand in Iraq is still estimated to be 7,000 MW, and although the overall security situation has improved-especially since the deployment of "power police" to guard sensitive lines-looting of cables, destruction of high-tension towers, and fuel line sabotage persist.

Water and Sanitation

Iraq has 13 major wastewater facilities. Baghdad's three facilities are currently inoperable and comprise three quarters of the nation's sewage treatment capacity. Raw waste flows directly into the Tigris River. In the rest of the country, most wastewater treatment facilities were only partly operational before the conflict, and a shortage of electricity, parts, and chemicals has exacerbated the situation and only a few wastewater treatment plants are operational. Iraq's 140 major water treatment facilities operate at about 65 percent of the pre-war level of three billion liters a day.

In Baghdad, USAID is currently expanding one water treatment plant and rehabilitating three sewage treatment plants. The first of the sewage treatment plants will come on-line in April 2004. Water and sanitation projects through USAID will benefit over 14.5 million Iraqis. These efforts include specific programs to rehabilitate the entire Sweet Water Canal system, including the canal and its reservoirs, and 14 water treatment plants and pumping stations providing potable water to over 1.75 million people. In central Iraq, these projects include rehabilitating one water treatment plant and four sewage plants. In the north, USAID is rehabilitating two water treatment plants and one sewage plant, and in Al Basrah, USAID is working to rehabilitate water treatment plants and pump stations.

Telephone Communications

Before the conflict, 1.2 million Iraqis subscribed to landline telephone service, much of which was centralized in Baghdad. A large part of the network's switching component was damaged during the conflict and service was disrupted. USAID installed 13 new switches which were fully integrated with the 14 existing switches in Baghdad to assist in restarting landline phone service. As a result, as of March 9 104,680 subscribers to the Iraqi landline phone network were reconnected. In addition, a satellite gateway system was installed and restored international calling service to Iraq on December 30. In total, repairs to the national fiber optic network have connected or reconnected Baghdad to 20 other Iraqi cities, comprising 70 percent of the population.

Ports, Bridges, and Rails

At the end of the war, port facilities at Umm Qasr were incapable of unloading or docking any deep draft ships. Dredging operations were initiated and now all 21 berths are open to deep-draft ships. Renovation of grain-receiving facility allows the port to process up to 600 metric tons of grain an hour. Umm Qasr seaport reopened to commercial traffic June 17. The first passenger vessel test was completed July 16. Currently, more than 50 ships offload cargo at the port every month. More than 200,000 tons of grain has been unloaded since the first ship arrived in mid-November. The grain-receiving facilities maintenance and management have been turned over to the Iraqi Grain Board. Port tariffs were applied on June 20, 2003 and these funds contribute financial stability of the port operations. These port revenues continue to outgrow port operating costs.

As part of the reconstruction effort three bridges were identified as priorities for rebuilding. These bridges are critical to maintaining highway links in Iraq and providing transportation of food, people, and fuel across the country. For example, repairs to the floating bridge over the Tigris River at Al Kut have improved traffic for over 50,000 travelers each day. The three bridges will be completed by May. In addition, 72 kilometers of rail tracks from Umm Qasr to Baghdad have been repaired.

Airports

As part of Bechtel's $1.03 billion contract, airports, seaports, roads, bridges, and railways are being rebuilt, allowing for the transport of humanitarian assistance, reconstruction material, and increased commerce. USAID partner Skylink has assessed three civilian airports in Iraq - in Baghdad, Al Basrah, and Mosul. More than 5,000 military and NGO flights processing 4,500 passengers have arrived at and departed from Baghdad International Airport since July. The work here includes completing the emergency infrastructure work at Baghdad International Airport for civil air operations.

Education

Before the 1990s, Iraq had one of the best education systems in the Middle East, with universal primary school enrollment and high rates of literacy among women. A decade later, tight central government control had resulted in buildings that were rarely if ever maintained, teachers who were poorly paid and ill-trained, and shortages of basic equipment and schoolbooks. School enrollment for all ages had declined precipitously.
Because of the importance of education in the reconstruction of Iraq, including the need to re-establish Iraq's formerly high degree of literacy, USAID has rehabilitated 2,351 schools country-wide for the first term of the 2003-2004 school year; printed and distributed 8.7 million revised math and science textbooks for grades one through 12; trained over 32,000 teachers and education administrative workers; and distributed 1.4 million secondary school kits throughout the country. These efforts, combined with the retraining of teachers and the provision of desks and chairs, have resulted in children returning to school. Notably, female attendance has surpassed male attendance, and overall attendance during exam week was 97 percent.

Health

Health conditions in Iraq deteriorated substantially under Saddam Hussein. By 2003, almost a third of the children in southern and central Iraq suffered from malnutrition. Life expectancy is 58 years-low in comparison to the average for least developed countries of 65 years.


USAID has partnered with UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Abt Associates to support health program in Iraq. Since the end of the war, USAID has vaccinated three million Iraqi children under the age of five, administered tetanus vaccine to more than 700,000 pregnant women, and by April 30, 2004 the USAID mission will have provided updated vaccinations to 90 percent of pregnant women and children under five years of age. Other efforts include equipping 600 facilities in seven target governorates to provide essential primary healthcare services, training more than 2,000 primary healthcare providers, and re-establishing the country's vital disease surveillance system. Mobile health teams working with the Ministry of Health have visited more than 2,000 families who do not have normal access to or have not visited primary health care facilities as well.

Local Governance

The government of Iraq is being rebuilt to reflect the will of the people. The Baathist regime isolated the Iraqi people from the rest of the world, set individual against individual, neighbor against neighbor, ethnic group against ethnic group, and religious group against religious group. The USAID local governance program has facilitated the formation of 392 neighborhoods, 192 sub districts, 78 districts, and 16 governorate councils, and has engaged directly or indirectly more than 20 million Iraqis in local government political processes. Baghdad's councils now represent all of Baghdad's 88 neighborhoods to city and district councils.

Projects for Women

USAID has over 147 development activities underway or completed which focus on women and children issues, including civil society development as well as initiatives to improve community based communications and advocacy capacity. Approximately 76 percent of the direct beneficiaries of these activities are women. USAID funding has contributed to starting and rehabilitating more than 17 women's centers, shelters, and associations and to provide resources and training to women's rights groups and mobile crisis intervention teams.

Community Action Programs

USAID has provided small, quick-impact grants to communities to address reconstruction needs at the local level. These programs provide the opportunity for Iraqis to direct and delegate efforts and encourage collaboration between Iraqi communities. The communities themselves have committed contributions of over $13 million, which is over 20 percent of the total project funding being provided. These contributions have come primarily in the form of labor, in-kind contributions,
Buildings, and Land.

These community grants are dispersed through a number of different programs, including the Health Strengthening Project, the Community Action Program (CAP), and the Local Governance Program. Through these efforts, USAID has committed $49.2 million to 1,360 projects that have benefited eight million people. CAP has established 664 community associations in 16 governorates. To date, USAID has disbursed approximately 850 grants to Iraqi NGOs.

Quick Impact Projects

USAID delivered 37 "ministries in a box" worth $3.9 million, including office equipment, desks, chairs and computers, to assist the Iraqi ministries re-open and begin working following the post-conflict looting. USAID rehabilitated 19 Governing Council outreach centers, 30 municipal government offices, three post offices, three public libraries and five Iraq property claims commission offices. These projects have provided funding to 48 non-governmental organizations, six human rights associations, and ten arts and cultural organizations. In addition, USAID has provided assistance to ten media organizations, funded numerous documentaries and films, provided nine grants to support materials promoting democratic themes, and disbursed 18 grants to support public opinion polling activities.

Economic Governance

USIAD assisted the CPA in creating more than 77,000 public works jobs through the National Employment Program. USAID, working through its partner BearingPoint, provided technical assistance on the implementation of a bank-to-bank payment system that allows 80 banks to send and receive payment instructions. USAID is also managing a $21 million micro-credit program.

Agriculture

USAID has awarded 11 grants totaling over $600,000 for a variety of agricultural programs including support for Winter Crop Technology Demonstrations, refurbishment of veterinary hospitals, and other support for the agricultural sector.

The Marshlands

USAID is focusing on ecosystem restoration and social and economic programs in the southern marshlands that were decimated under the rule of Saddam Hussein. A technical team from a coalition of international partners is assessing the social and economic conditions in the marshes and are designing a long-term strategy for economic and infrastructure development. Activities include surveys, pilot sites, hydrological modeling, sampling soil, and water and monitoring regeneration.

Humanitarian and Emergency Assistance

To date, USAID has provided more than $104 million in humanitarian assistance to Iraq for coordination, health, nutrition, logistics, shelter, non-food items, support to internally displaced people, and water and sanitation activities. This has been accomplished through ongoing cooperative agreements with NGOs such as the International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, CARE, Mercy Corps, Save the Children, and World Vision.

Youth and Sports

USAID has awarded over 84 grants for youth and youth sports centers totaling over $4.5 million dollars. [/Q]
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Old 04-21-2004, 10:34 AM   #2
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It's good to read about the improvements (also most of them are "just" improvements compared to the - after-"conflict level" wich is a nice name for a war)
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Old 04-21-2004, 04:29 PM   #3
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Unfortunatley, killings make better news.
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Old 04-21-2004, 04:51 PM   #4
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Dreadsox: yes - you're right bad news is good news
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